Off-duty Aurora officer arrested for punching woman with disabilities 'four to five times,' affidavit says

Douglas Harroun accused of punching 49-year-old woman several times in the head and the face
Off-duty Aurora officer arrested for punching woman with disabilities 'four to five times,' affidavit says
Posted at 1:16 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-13 12:25:17-05

AURORA, Colo. — An off-duty Aurora police officer has been arrested after allegedly assaulting a woman with disabilities following an argument Wednesday night.

Douglas Harroun, 32, was taken into custody and booked into the Arapahoe County Detention Facility on a charge of third-degree assault against an at-risk adult, a Class 5 felony, for reportedly punching a 49-year-old woman with disabilities several times in the head and face, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to the area near E. Briarwood Circle at around 9:02 p.m. after first responders received a 911 call about a fight happening at an apartment complex.

Arriving officers learned Harroun was coming home in his Jeep when he observed the woman walking her dog in the middle of the road. Because the dog was not on a leash, Harroun had to drive slowly behind the woman as her dog was walking behind her at the same time he off-duty officer approached his parking garage, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Denver7 Thursday.

“[The woman] stopped walking and turned around to yell at DOUGLAS for following her,” police said, before both the off-duty officer and the woman got into a verbal argument.

Harroun then exited the Jeep and began arguing with the woman to her face, while his wife stood behind her, so that the 49-year-old woman was between the off-duty officer and his wife, the affidavit states.

“Witnesses observed DOUGLAS then punch [the woman] in the left side of her face with his right hand. [The victim] fell to the ground and DOUGLAS got on top of her and continued to punch her in the head four to five more times,” arresting documents show.

"I saw a male basically pinning a female on the ground. She was on her back screaming, crying. And she said, "You hit me five times,"" said a witness Denver7 spoke to, who asked not to be identified. "It's just completely overboard. I mean, this male is so much larger than the female. I don't understand the need for that kind of force. It just, it wasn't right."

The injured woman was taken to a local hospital and medical staff determined she had “several fresh red marks, bumps, and bruising that was consistent with what witnesses observed,” according to the affidavit.

The woman reportedly told the off-duty officer and his wife she had a disability as they argued, which was later determined to be Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which the victim described as a nerve dysfunction that affects her entire left side of her body, the affidavit states.

Deputies arrested Harroun and the Aurora Police Department opened an Internal Affairs investigation. The off-duty officer was placed on immediate and indefinite suspension without pay, according to a spokesperson with the police department.

Douglas Harroun.jpg

"I was shocked about it, because of all the people that should be able to show some restraint, you would hope it would be the police," another witness told Denver7.

“The alleged actions Wednesday night are inconsistent with the Aurora Police Department’s core values,” said Aurora Police Interim Chief Art Acevedo. “We want to thank our partners at the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office’s for responding and taking the lead on the investigation.”

Harroun, who was hired in 2020, was involved in a non-fatal shooting on New Year’s Eve and was on paid administration leave following that shooting, police said.

Harroun’s bond was set at $25,000, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. He bonded out Thursday evening.

Denver7 spoke to neighbors who say they want to see transparency from the APD.

"What are going to be the repercussions of this, the consequences for him so we can be feel safer? While he may be incarcerated right now, are we going to know when he gets out? Because it could have been anybody. It could have been my wife over there," one witness said.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | January 12, 11am

Denver7's Danielle Kreutter contributed to this report.